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CEEI History


The Lions Clubs International (LCI) association has seen explosive growth in Central-Eastern Europe since it chartered the first Lions club in Budapest, Hungary in 1989.

  • Lions have generated 10 new districts, 400 new clubs and more than 11,000 new members.
  • European states on the Baltic coast have created successful membership growth in countries like Poland and Estonia by developing relationships with Eastern European states.
  • Between 1995 and 2000, annual membership in Eastern Europe nearly doubled.
  • From 2000 to 2003, membership in Eastern Europe grew by 20 percent.
  • Women’s membership increased from 28% to 34% from 2006 to 2011.

Membership Growth

  • Basic information, training and working materials to current members.
  • Comprehensive information about LCI to prospective members.
  • Leadership training at all district levels.
  • Experts in the field, including experienced Certified Guiding Lions, to address needs and challenges and work directly with local Lions.
  • Access to experienced, senior Lions leaders in the European region.

Central-Eastern European Initiative

To accelerate membership growth in Eastern Europe in 2007-2008, (then) Second International Vice President Eberhard J. Wirfs developed the Eastern Europe Project (EEP) which has now been transformed into the Central-Eastern European Initiative (CEEI) under the guidance of Past Inernational Director Ernst A. Musil.  This initiative:

  • Provide financial aid and clear goals for each country with realistic time frames. 
  • Train and prepare each country to function independently. 
  • In fiscal year 2011-2012, begin to move these countries into the GMT/GLT structure.

Rotating pictures of Lions.

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